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  The Making of Donald Trump  CSPAN  October 8, 2016 3:46pm-4:49pm EDT

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candidate at 7 p.m. eastern. next, investigative journalist david cajon son. david cay john johnston. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. thanks so much for coming. my name is candace, i work with the events here at the store. on behalf of the owners and the rest of the staff, i want to welcome you. if you could take a moment to silence your cell phones so we don't have any interruptions, that would be great. we are recording this event. we have c-span here. we're also doing our own recording that will go on youtube in about a week. we're going to have about an hourlong presentation here, half that time given to our author's presentation, the other half given to your questions. we have one microphone over here for questions. if you could make your way to that microphone, we'll be able to catch it on our recording, and everyone will be able to the to hear you.
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at the end we'll have a signing right up here at this table next to you. before you get into the signing line, if you wouldn't mind folding up your chairs, that would be great. i'm so pleased to be welcoming david cay johnston to politics & prose to present his latest book, "the making of donald trump are." no matter what side of the political spectrum you land on, i think we can all agree that trump's rapid rise to political stature is shocking. this new book sheds light on many of trump's beliefs which still evade those of us who are repulsed by him and those who have relinquished their moral values to the support him. [laughter] fair and balanced here. [laughter] these views are the reflection of my own beliefs and not necessarily the store's. [laughter] david cay johnson is a blitz -- pulitzer prize-winning author.
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his journalism has appeared in the detroit free press, the los angeles times, the "philadelphia inquirer" and "the new york times." his journalism has had major influence on the topics he has covered from exposing political spying and brutality in the los angeles police department to changing american government policy and freeing an innocent man wrongly accused of a vicious murder. he writes a weekly column for the daily beast.com as well as a frequent opinion p piece for the "usa today," the new york daily news, national memo.com and the rochester democrat and chronicle. he's also a consultant on electricity regulation, rare earths and journalism for the netflix series "house of cards." so please join me in welcoming david cay johnston to politics & prose. [applause] >> well, how wonderful to see so many people here. so i want to start off telling you a little bit about donald
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and me and how this book came about. [laughter] all right? because i don't do politics. i do policy. so this is a very strange place for me. in 1988 i left the los angeles times and went to atlantic city for the "philadelphia inquirer" because i believed that casino gambling was about to explode across america and become ubiquitous which, in fact, it did. and almost immediately upon arriving, i met the most important person in atlantic city, donald trump. and it became almost instantly obvious to me that he was our p.t. barnum. selling you tickets to the fiji mermaid and other things like this. shortly after that i began talking with his competitors, with steve wynn, a serious, successful gambling mogul, with some gamblers, with government officials and with donald's own people.
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ask they all told me -- and they all told me donald doesn't know anything about the casino business. and i'm like, how can that be? i mean, it's not possible he doesn't know anything about the casino business. so the first time donald and i sat down to have a cup of coffee, i deliberately said something to him false, and it had to do with craps. and of all the documents i've saved on donald, at one point -- before digitization became possible -- i was renting two storage lockers just to keep my files on barron hilton, jack welch, the lapd, daryl gates, but mostly files on donald. can't find that motebook. [laughter] -- notebook. anyway, i put in a false statement, and donald immediately embraced this falsehood and put it into his answer. now, this is what the psychics you see advertised on daytime tv do. this is what con artists do. so in case he had done that, i had prepared several other questions like that where i dropped things into the
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conversation that were false, and every time he immediately embraced the falsehood and put it into his answer. and that's when i realized, this guy's a con artist. whatever's going on here, he is fundamentally at heart running a scam. now, i chronicled donald's behavior back then. i was the person that broke the story that he was not a billionaire, and when the official government proceedings established this a few months later in 1990, we ran in the "philadelphia inquirer" above the masthead the story with the lead that began: you are probably worth more than donald trump. [laughter] he had a negative net worth of about $295 million. so i have followed donald ever since. four years ago when donald announced that he was running, he was treated quite seriously by my peers. lance o'donnell and i separately
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came to the same conclusion, he was really running for a new contract with nbc for his television show. this time when he announced, i was the only national journalist who said right out of the box, he's serious this time, and i said he might -- wasn't likely -- but he might get the nomination. and the difference was that his show was very long in the tooth. if you're donald trump, the worst thing you can imagine happening -- short of your own death -- would be for the daily news and the new york post to come out with covers that both say nbc to trump: you're fired. [laughter] secondly, donald saw this field that had no real obvious leader, and the one guy who might have been considered presumptive, jeb bush, would be pretty easy to pick off. and donald also, if he ran, would be establishing that he had a pigger audience than -- bigger audience than he had had for his show, "celebrity
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apprentice," and he could get a bigger contract. i then was appalled at the news coverage by my peers. now, i watched live when donald came down with his wife, melania, in front of him to make his announcement. and he went into this racist, xenophobic rant against mexicans and muslims and others. and all these young people were applauding. i'm sorry, midtown manhattan is not philadelphia, mississippi, where ronald reagan launched his campaign for the white house. and i thought, well, okay. so he bussed in some people from somewhere. well, no, the hollywood reporter the next day or two broke the story that, in fact, they were actors paid $50 each to show up. and in understanding donald trump and understanding that he is essentially a fraud, that if you like donald trump, it's because you like what he sold you, not who and what he is.
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so i called up my literary agent, i said, we've got to do a book. she called around and said nobody believes he's going to get the nomination, it's not going to happen. by the time publishers got around to the time deciding there was a book here, it just wasn't going to happen. and in the meantime, i wrote about two dozen pieces about donald in a whole set of different forums, politico, "usa today," national memo. and the -- "newsweek" and some other places. and then melville house called, and their specialty is doing books in a hurry. and i had done one book before in a hurry. and they said, can you do this book in three weeks? [laughter] and i said, no, but i'll do it in four. [laughter] and i did. i wrote this book in 27 days. and be i was able to do that -- and i was able to do that because having done the lead rewrite more big front page stories in "the new york times"es and l.a. times, i knew
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how to assemble and do a project like this in a hurry. unlike my other books, there aren't a lot of literary value in it. it's mostly fact, fact, fact, with 44 pages of notes at the end. so having laid out this introduction to you, i want to tell you a couple of key things about donald and a couple of key stories about him. donald trump is all about money. and you, every one of you sitting in this room, you either recognize his greatness and bask in it and glory in it, or donald has a word for you: loser. [laughter] donald is a man who's publicly humiliated the mother of his children, who you'll read in my book made up stories that beautiful women, kim basinger, madonna, carla bruni, were
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founding on his door because, after all, everyone in america's got to have donald. by the way, not only did none of these women want to notch their lipstick case, two of them had never met him, apparently, and the third one had a brief conversation with him and refers to him as the king of sleaze. [laughter] now, donald as has spent his entire life doing business con artists, with mafia, with russian mobsters, with swindlers. his entire life. not surprisingly, since his father, fred trump -- a very industrious guy who also was a profiteer on post-world war ii housing projects -- had a business partner, willie tom sell low, who according to law enforcement reports was an associate and a front for the gambino and genevese organized crime families.
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so donald can, not unsurprisingly, after graduating from college where he keeps saying nobody's ever seen president obama when he went to columbia. like, you know, the women who have been interviewed about the dates they went on with him and people who played basketball with him, none of those people apparently exist to donald, he was -- hardly anybody saw him at penn, although i did interview candice bergin who told me they did go on a date which, as she put it, ended early. [laughter] but when donald got to new york, he made a beeline to the notorious roy cohn, senator joe mccarthy's attack dog. and that relationship helped him. he regarded roy cohn as a second father and as a mentor, and he said in writing that he loved roy cohn because roy would brutalize for you. roy would brutalize for you. so that leads me to this story i
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want to tell you about what happened when fred died. fred was a really industrious guy. he had a business at the age of 15. so did i. and when he died, two days or three days after his funeral, a new great grandchild was born. a descendant in the line of freddie trump jr. who had died early. he was an alcoholic and did not have a happy life. and this child immediately became ill. desperately ill. stopped breathing twice, needed terrifically expensive medical care. now, like many family-owned businesses, the trumps provide everyone in the family with health care. and donald is a big believer, it's one of the best things about donald, in universal health care. well, robert trump wrote a letter to the company's insurance administrator precise and said whatever the bills are, just pay 'em. don't ask questions, just pay the bill. take care of this child.
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and then fred trump's will was read. and it turned out that instead of dividing his pie five ways, it was divided four. the line of the late freddie trump jr. was cut out of the will except for some minor gifts. surprise, surprise, that line of the family went to court arguing undue influence. that although fred trump had been diagnosed with alzheimer's about a year and a half or two years after he wrote his last will, they argued that some influence had been applied on him to cut them out of the will. the reaction to by donald trump was that he immediate lid cut -- immediately cut off all health care for this child. i want you to think about this. donald trump, over money, put the life of a sickly infant in jeopardy, his own blood over money. and when he was asked about
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this, he said, well, what else can i do? well, don't you think this would look cold-hearted? and donald's answer is, essentially, well, you know, i don't like people who sue my father's estate. no compassion for the child any more than there was no compassion for the khan family whose son is a serving american military officer killed in combat. no empathy for another person because other people, to donald, are simply objects to be used. now, i want to contrast what happened with sickly child. a judge ordered that the health care continue, there was some kind of negotiated settlement, and as donald does with negotiated settlements all the time -- and, by the way, contrary to his statement he never settles, he settles all the time -- the condition of settling was they had to seal the record. so we don't know exactly what was done for this child. well, donald was confronted with the issue of mercy a few years
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earlier. so as i tell you this, keep in mind that donald had no mercy for his own grand nephew. donald had a famous helicopter in the '80s, you may have seen him flying around in it called the ivana, a euro supercopter. then he had a fleet of helicopters to run high rollers down to atlantic city and back. these copters were provided and managed by a guy named joe we can elbaum, a convicted felon and associate of mob families. there were lots of companies that had helicopters. there were better financed companies than this one, but this is who donald chose. it turns out joe had a second business. he was a major drug trafficker. he ran a drug ring that got cocaine and marijuana from colombia. they picked it up many miami -- in miami. according to the court papers,
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joe personally handled the drugs, he sometimes helped load them into the cars, he would give the drivers money or plane tickets or whatever they needed to go on, and they would go up to cincinnati and area near there. he was indicted in the fall of 1985. now, when you own a casino, you have a privilege. the supreme court and those of you who read my book "temples of chance" know that casinos are not a right, they are a privilege. the state of new jersey said you must prove by clear and convincing evidence that you can pay your bills on time, that you are morally fit and that you do not associate with criminals. well, donald didn't get rid of joe wexelbaum at this point. the dea had him cold. he asked that his case to miami where the drugs began and he had
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a home or new york city where he lived. the case instead was moved to new jersey which neither the prosecutors nor the defense lawyer have ever been able to explain. and it came before out of the more than 800 district court judges in america, judge mary ann trump barry, his sister. now, judge barry is required to recuse herself from this case, and she did about three weeks later. but just think about the conversation that went on here. she goes to the chief judge and says, um, you know, i can't handle this case with this big drug trafficker, because my husband who's a lawyer for my brother's casinos, he fly in those helicopters off the time, and you're the chief judge saying i've got a federal judge flying around in a drug trafficker's helicopters. potential here for real embarrassing things to happen for the federal judiciary. donald, meanwhile, shows his
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mercy to this man. he writes a letter pleading for him to get a short sentence, calling him diligent, saying basically he's a stand-up guy, you know, who should be treated lightly by the courts. when the new jersey division of gaming enforcement goes to ask donald about the letter, he says i don't know what you're talking about. you could construe that as a cover-up. certainly as lying. so they go back and get the letter that they didn't have. they show him letter, and donald says, yeah, that's my signature. end of inquiry. not why are you doing business this guy, why did you do business this guy, what other business relationship did you have with him, what's going on here? they did ask a few questions about, and you'll read in the book, an apartment that joe and his brother rented under rather unusual circumstances, an apartment in a different building than trump tower but that was owned personally by donald trump. well, joey comes up for
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sentencing before the new judge, he gets a very light sentence, and 18 months after he walks into prison, he walks out. he also says he has no money, he can't pay his fines. by the way, the people who drove the drugs, the little fish, 20 years. up to 20 years. so donald's letter seeking mercy worked. this big drug guy, he got a light 1234-7bs sentence. now, think about that not only in the context of his not showing merry, but rather -- mercy, but rather brutality towards this sickly child who's helpless, but in terms of all of donald's attacks about murderers and rapists and drugs, you know, in the black communities of america. he basically has said nobody has a job, and everybody has crime, and no one has an education. think about those in the context of that. by the way, when joe wexelbaum came out, he said he didn't have money to pay fines he owed that
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were imposed by the court, but he did move into a $2.4 million apartment in trump tower. now, all throughout his career donald trump has been the subject of lawsuits. he cheated employees, he's cheated vendors, he has been accused of swindling investors in projects that his name was on. he settled many of these cases and had them sealed so we don't know exactly what happened, but we have his testimony in many of these cases. and his testimony is generally one of two categories; i had no idea or, well, you were lucky if you invested in this that the project failed when it did. you could have put all your money into the project, and you'd have ross more money. that's his approach to these things. donald, when it comes to these deals, also often pleads that he doesn't know things.
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and you'll see some answers that he gives to questions presented to him under oath where his answers are gibberish. i don't know what else to call them. you may have watched in december the republican debate. and in that debate hugh hewitt, very smart right-wing radio talk show host and a lawyer -- he represents companies in environmental deals, he's on the protect the company's interest side. and he asked donald trump what's your priority among the nuclear triad. and donald trump's answer, which i quote in full, was gibberish are. i don't know what else to call it. and hugh hewitt asked the question a second time. and donald says, oh, nuclear, nuclear. that's like it's so massive and impressive, you know? it's like -- it's a big deal. [laughter] and hugh hewitt cay says, senator rubio, same question. well, let me first, hugh, tell the american people what the nuclear triad is, if they don't
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know. it is the ability of our united states military to deliver nuclear weapons from submarine-based missiles, land-based missiles or bombers. when you've got to be schooled by marco rubio, you don't know much. [laughter] but here's the thing that my wife and i were watching that debate, and i said that should be the lead item in the coverage of the debate tomorrow by everybody, that this is this most crucial matter of your finger on the button, and donald doesn't know anything. and i said, however, my guess is it'll get minimal mention. actually a lot of the stories didn't even mention it. they completely missed it because politics reporters cover the horse race, they don't cover policy. they don't know what the nuclear triad is, nor did they know the significance of this question. but here's what it turns out people didn't know that's in my book. hugh hewitt asked the exact same question four months earlier on his radio show, so donald had
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four months to get schooled on this. and i ran into hugh a couple of weeks ago here in washington. never met him before, he didn't know about my book, and i told him the story, he said, yeah, he had four months to get ready for that, and he didn't know a thing. donald doesn't know anything. listen to what he says. i'm going to tell nabisco and ford they can't build a factory in mexico. it's not within the powers of the president of the united states to go around telling corporations where they're going to spend their money and where are the principal conservatives on this issue? -- principled conservatives on this issue? can you imagine if president obama said that? [laughter] donald trump through his companies owes millions and millions and millions of dollars to the communist chinese bank of china which is essentially controlled at the end of day by the nine thugs who lead the government in beijing. can you imagine what would have happened if hillary clinton had turned out to have had a credit
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card from the bank of china? [laughter] donald trump has received millions and millions of dollars from russian oligarchs. one of his sons has said, oh, yeah, they're one of the biggest sources of money we have. i don't know how many of you saw, but there was a terrific, well-done story in "the new york times" a few days ago about all the people who arenmies of putin -- are enemies of putin, either oligarchs or journalists who have been murdered. and down in the story was this little line that dumas had passed a law so that putin could kill people outside the country. now, we've killed a few people outside country, but they've declared themselves enemies of the state. and you can argue whether that's right or wrong, but putin's poisoning people and poisoning innocent people in some cases, having people shot. if you're an oligarch in russia, you're either a friend of vladimir putin, or you're in jail, or you're living in fear and trying to get out of country. donald trump keeps advancing vladimir putin's objective.
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weaken or destroy nato. imagine what would have happened if we had had george w. bush saying, hey, you know, we should just weaken nato. the trouble he would be in over there. the most important thing and the reason i wrote this book is that donald trump is a master at a couple of things. he is a master at setting up business deals in which he be puts up so money. he never had a dollar invested in atlantic city. and extracting money from these deals. that's why his atlantic city casino business was among the first to fail. there are profit to bl, success -- profitable, successful casinos in atlantic city today, but trump's name will disapipe on october 10th from the last, and instead of investing in the business and growing the business -- and i'm somebody who has co-founded a little business. peanut business, 25 workers. we reinvest in the business so it keeps growing to create wealth. donald trump? pull money out as fast as you
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can. pay no attention to the welfare of the business, just get cash. when donald trump filed bankruptcy and stiffed all these contractors, some of whom their businesses failed, many of whom for years struggled to keep the doors open because they felt an obligation to their employees, donald demanded big, huge fees be paid to him during the bankruptcy, or he would tie them up in litigation, and so they paid him. until in the fourth bankruptcy, they paid him to to go away. donald is the most masterful manipulator of the conventions of journalism i have ever seen. donald understands, first of all, that most journalists are very good at accurately quoting people and accurately getting other sides of the story and quoting them but have no deep understanding of what's going on. and he exploits that. he knows that the tabloids, especially rupert murdoch's new york post, have no real regard for any set of facts.
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they'll take a good story any day of the week. is so he plants a story that his longtime mistress -- whom i knew about long before anybody wrote about her, but i didn't regard it as a story. billionaire has mistress. now, a plane takes off in washington, lands in l.a. not a story in either case. [laughter] he plants this story with a big picture of his smiling face on the cover of the post, best sex ever. marla maples, by the way, has disclaimed that statement. she didn't make it. he creates this image of himself as this midas. it's all a fraud. it is a fraud. there's nothing there. and i know some of you are going to want to ask how much is he worth, and i'm going to tell you. i don't know, but i know he's not worth as he said in a matter of days, $8.7 billion, 10 billion, more than 10 billion, 11 billion. what i do know is what donald
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said under oath when he had to answer questions about how much are you worth, and he said, well, it depends on my emotional state. and the lawyer goes, excuse me? the lawyer who is now the head of enforcement at the sec, and he asked a little further, and donald says, well, yeah, it depends on how i'm feeling that day. that's what's happening in the world and how my mood is, that's how i determine my net worth. now, if this guy wasn't running for president of the united states, i think we'd all agree that's crazy. [laughter] that's absolutely crazy. that is -- nobody does it that way. and throughout his life donald has gotten away with this because almost nobody challenges him. wayne barrett, probably the best reporter who ever worked in new york city who got on to donald very early on and wrote about him at length in the village voice and who, despite working at the village voice, had the most extraordinary law enforcement sources of any reporter i've ever known, and i and a guy named neil bar sky at "the wall street journal" until donald pulled a trick on him and
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he got fired, we were basically the only people really examining donald. everybody else, he was a good story. what are you going to do a bunch of work for? donald said this thing, and it's a good story. we would say, yeah, let's go look up the records, and we would question what's going on. so before we go to questions, i want to get across to you that the person you have seen, the image created by donald trump with the complicity of our major national news organizations who are utterly failing in their duty with a few notable exceptions, "the washington post" has tried pretty hard, one tv reporter has at least asked the tough follow-up questions on him. by and large, donald trump has gotten from the press what he wants, to create this image that he is the modern midas. that, as he said, i alone can save you. that's not the statement of a leader of a free people in a democracy. that's the statement of a
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would-be dictator. >> amen. >> he has said i love the blacks. and you would think most journalists, even white journalists, would have enough sense to say, boy, that's an interesting way to phrase that statement. [laughter] and they might want to go look up times that donald has been found to have engaged in discrimination against blacks and women and asians. found to have been done so -- to have done so, been fined for it. their not doing -- they're not doing that. by the last measure, i saw more than $4 billion of free media. he's like a train wreck. people won't turn away from the tv. fox news has put out the story that when they turn off donald, people turn off their tvs or go to another channel. this is no way to run a democracy. this is serious business. and unlike donald trump who can say on his tv show something totally contrary to sound
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business practice, and i say this as somebody who teaches graduate business students and law students -- part time -- you're fired. he can't fire the dictator in north korea. he can't fire the speaker of the house. he can't fire a federal judge who issues an order he doesn't like. donald trump tells you he has this sort of vague plan. he's going to build a wall, he's going to get the trillions of dollars or certainly many hundreds of billions of dollars needed -- however he does it, because he's changed slightly to round up people in the country illegally. not the people, by the way, i describe in my book who work for him and who he cheated out of their wages, but round them up. and other things he's discussed, he can't do it unless congress passes legislation allowing him to do that ask providing the money. have you ever heard of a president of the united states picking a fight with the speaker of the house? and then appointing to run his campaign a guy like steve bannon
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who said at breitbart that paul ryan is a double agent for hillary clinton. [laughter] this is craziness. so i want to take questions from you. i hope that you will read the book. it's a quick read because it's written in news style. there are 44 pages of notes at the end so that you can look up stuff if you don't believe me. my personal e-mail is in the book. and a few people have gotten ahold of me in case people have questions about where material comes from, and i will just leave you with this last point. when i was 18 years old, the san jose mercury recruited me to be a reporter, and they hired me at 19. throughout my career i have broken stories where people told the editors ott mercury and the l.a. times that's just crazy, that can't be. you know, when i said that the police chief in l.a. was assigning officers to sleep with women to get political information, nah, that accountability be.
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that they were committing crimes and started a riot, can't be. subsequent events that all came out to be true. the police chief, in fact, himself bragged in his autobiography that lapd had undercover officers in moscow and havana. and in 50 years at this where i've accused people of murder, jack welch gave up his retirement perks, the head of ernst and young lost his job, president bush made his only tax policy change, the clintons changed how they file their tax returns, every bit of the work has held up. it's been scrutinized all over the place, and it's held up. and in this book you're going to find stuff that will hold up, and i only wish i'd had five weeks to do the book, because there's a whole bunch more i wanted to put in there. thank you. [laughter] [applause] the microphone is over here, and the only thing i'd ask you to do is ask a question. think about what you want to do
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and ask a question, because a bunch of people are going to want to and questions, and i want to do as many as we can. >> you make a very persuasive case, completely persuasive. why have the republican party allowed donald trump to be where he is today in. >> 'cuz donald got the votes. it's as simple as that. but what you're seeing on a broader scale is parties are not important anymore. what's important, and citizens united really hammered this home, is it's the people who are financing the campaigns, these very narrow groups of people in the country who are financing campaigns. parties don't have discipline. when the german tv interviewed me, and i haven't been on abc, nbc or cbs. i've been on all these national shows in australia, canada, germany and france about the book.
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one of the correspondents said to me, you know, if a minor back bencher said just a few of the things donald said, the party would discipline this person. if that didn't work, they would get them out of there. the party has no power here. so that's what's happening. and i think you're going to see a major realignment. i've said in the past this may be the end of republican party as we know it, but they're going to have to have a major realignment, and those republicans who have not separated themselves from donald trump, glenn beck said the same thing last night on lawrence o'donnell that i've been saying, i don't know how you get the stench off after the election. it's like permanent skunk juice. please, sir. >> two quick questions. there is a book that came out, oh, six months ago that was a political biography, i'm sorry, a political campaign biography
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by trump, and i'm sorry, i've forgotten the name -- >> yeah. i've got all of donald's books, and i've read them all. >> yeah, you must have have it. the -- >> it was originally called "crippled america," but he's retitled it. >> yes, i think it's retitled. in any case, no one in the media have mentioned that book. >> okay. so why is the book not getting mentioned? >> yeah. >> it actually got a fair amount of coverage when it came out, and i would always caution you against saying no one has, because if you go look, you'll find -- >> sure. >> somebody yesterday posted a twitter that none of the news had written about hillary clinton's state department and her e-mails, so i went to google. [laughter] 19,800,000 places. but i think it's gotten relatively little attention like
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most books do like this, because they're written for the audience of supporters, and they're not serious tracts, okay? we've had a few rare exceptions. barack obama's book that he wrote, i think, was one of very few exceptions to having a serious book. so and the other? >> the other question is can you predict what the new trump that they're trying to invent now -- >> yeah. >> -- how successful might he be? and -- >> okay. >> and what are they? >> i am not a politics reporter, so i have absolutely no idea about that. but let me be clear, when people argue around trump, you know, are you going to see the new trump? i saw a little snippet on tv one day just by chance where there were a group of middle-aged women talking about trump. it may have been "the view" or a show like this, and one of them -- remember, these women are 45. it's like, you know, your girlfriend says, oh, i found guy, and we're going to get married, and after we get married, i'm going to change him, and he's 70 years old.
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[laughter] sir. >> this may be a little bit too local given the little bit of time you had to deal with washington, d.c., but supposedly sometime around the 12th of september trump international hotel's supposed to open in washington, d.c. on pennsylvania avenue. >> right. >> now, it's been buried, there's been one columnist in "the washington post" who's got a good bite on this thing ask has pushed it. the mayor apparently in the city and all the people had to be involved when they cut deal with trump to build a hotel -- >> right. >> -- before all the lawsuits over the restaurant and all that. basically didn't make a lot of this stuff public, and there was some freedom of information stuff that was done to get some of the details out. but what it appeared was the columnist for the post indicated that maybe because of things you'd written and others had known that he had to have some kind of a guarantee of about $45 million, and he had to get a loan from, i think, deutsche bank -- >> right. >> -- to cover whatever outage it would be.
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so that in theory, if he walked away from that deal like he did other ones you've written about -- >> right. >> -- the city wouldn't get hosed. do you believe that's likely to be the case? >> well, i haven't seen the contract in this case. i'm aware of what you're talking about. american banks won't loan money to donald. donald himself has said i borrowed money knowing i didn't have to pay it back, and i've made a lot of money borrowing money i didn't pay back,s which is true. and so deutsche bank which has been at the heart of these big, illegal tax shelters i was exposing years ago in "the new york times" -- >> right. >> -- deutsche bank's one of the few banks that will loan him money and generally on terms that secure them pretty well. but in this project if we had a fine forensic audit of it internally, we'd find out donald doesn't have any money in it, i'm sure of it. because donald doesn't put money into anything. all of his deals are you give me money. so -- all right? >> well a quick follow up was, apparently, there was some kind of a guarantee. >> right.
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>> i'm not sure what the term was, but he had guaranteed the city at least $45 million of his own money if he walked away. do you think that's another joke? >> i don't think -- if we had the contract, the documents, even if it says donald performly, there's something else we haven't seen because donald just doesn't do this. he used to. when he fell apart in 1990, he own owed $900 prosecute many million on, essentially, a credit card because all these banks thought they were the only ones making unsecured personal loans to him. and they paid wadly for their bad judgment. >> we going to get any women asking questions? [laughter] or just a whole group of people like me, old white guys? >> i'm happy to change on saturday. [laughter] >> go ahead. >> got a question on conflicts of interest. the polling data these o'days does -- these days does suggest that donald trump is in a hole and -- >> i don't trust the polls this year, to be clear.
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because i think there are an awful lot of white people in america who underneath their skin, they don't want to sit next to a black person or a brown person or a yellow person on an airplane. but go ahead. >> if he were to win the election, what sorts of conflicts of interest would you see, and what do you -- from your knowledge about the trump university case, what, where do you see that going? >> let me deal with trump university first. there's a whole long section about trump university in my book. as a matter of law, i don't see how donald trump gets out of the trump university mess. it is a bait and switch fraud from beginning to end, the, and the texas attorney general's staff who were denied bringing litigation against donald, civil litigation, they laid out the defenses he would make and showed why they wouldn't stand. so i don't know what he's going to do there. and there are three lawsuits, two class action suits and the new york state attorney general. you'll also read about a campaign finance contribution that the irs should have shut down the donald j. trump foundation, but they've done
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nothing because, guess what? we've stripped the irs of assets and staff to do its job. on the first part of the question about -- if donald gets elected president, conflicts of interest are a minor problem. [laughter] let me give you the big problems we'll have right off, okay? donald called me april 27th at home to tell me that, you know, he'll sue me unless i write what he likes. you know, i've been doing this almost 50 years from the santa cruz, california, city council to the white house. he's the only poll to decision who's ever told me that, and i've ended the careers of a fair number of both democrats and republicans. if donald is elected, first of all, i absolutely believe that some federal agency will start causing me trouble because donald's going to use the government to go after the people he doesn't like because that's how he sees the world. and i talk at length about his personal philosophy. he's written about it at great length, which is revenge. the only person i know who says i'm a christian whose whole
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philosophy is destroy other people. secondly, i would mostly be worried if i were a senior united states military officer, and i will -- i think we can reasonably assume that the men and women who are in the situation room have all pulled out their law books to have a precise understanding of what happens and how you refuse an illegal order from the commander in chief. because this is a man who's talked about, well, why don't we use nuclear weapons in europe? those are our allies. we're going to torture people. we executed japanese officers after world war ii for waterboarding people. these people are not going to commit crimes that put them in jeopardy of their freedom and their lives, and that will be a crisis because donald will order them to do these things. and if you see him fire one general or admiral, that's when you need to really get worried because of the implication of where that's going. okay? sir. >> this question is in the
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context only of him losing. the good news about donald trump having run -- >> so what's the question? >> you agree -- >> if he loses. but if he loses what? >> the election. >> okay. >> the republican party that started being the racist institution that it was with the silent majority under nixon, i see it now is totally kaput. i'm not -- >> you really want to know what's going to happen to the republican party if he loses the election. >> do you agree the republican party is basically gone -- >> i don't know if the republican party is gone. it may be, and i've said that, okay? we certainly are going to see a massive realignment. let's not just beat up on the republicans -- i'm a registered republican. after all, it was the democrats in the south, you know, who ran jim crow. >> right. >> the republicans have been trying now for 50 years to create this image that we are the conservative party, and as conservatives, we are principled people, and we believe in markets. my books are about, in large
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part, the undermining of market economics. .. we stop what's happened in campaign finance and citizens united is the worst part of that. chief justice roberts is wrong about this. the founders wrote about concerns that inequality have destroyed america. i have written about this. the founders were worried that money would lead to a society in which a business aristocrats and
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because they had no property, they would deceive those people to vote policies that favor business aristocrats. i think they'll be a big crisis about it. where it's going to go, i don't know? the democrats need to have realignment. they need to stop being republicanlike. >> thank you. >> why the facts you brought to light about the mob and things like that, why doesn't the media go into it and hillary brings it up and he calls her dishonest, i'm wondering if you can talk about his father's ties with the klan. >> i'm not a politics person. i know it sounds like i'm copying out, i don't like
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politics, i like policy. if you're going the say that donald trump is involved with mobsters and drug dealers and others, two things happened. i've had a number of tv shows call me and say, well, we need to have somebody from the other side and i've said, okay, and they can't find anybody and the trump -- ask them for a surrogate. well, they don't want to participate. you know, if you're not going to participate that shouldn't allow you to kill the story. okay. and they all have liable concerns even though this is in the public record, donald's own testimony and the reality is that the news business has shrunken down. and news rooms have been shedding people like crazy. it went back to the new york times news room not so long ago and it was two clock in the afternoon, i thought proceeding donald trump's famous remark, i
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could fire a shotgun in the place and not hit anybody. [laughter] >> a lot of people there but it shrunk, with the shrinkage there's concern about money diverted and a view that a public doesn't want aggressive journalism. the american people have given top journalist, top editors and publishers is we don't want you doing what i do. we don't want you doing this because it upsets us, tell us things that we don't want to know. we want to believe what we want to believe. >> about the klan. >> thank you, i'm sorry. in 1927 about a thousand guys in white robes and supporters, mostly people who were supporters got into a pitch battle with new york city police in jamaica queens. "the new york times" reported and when you went to cop shop
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they gave you arrest report and among people arrested was fred trump. it gave its address in queens. donald told "the new york times", well, that wasn't my father, he never lived at that address, there were no charges, you shouldn't write about it. you're not supposed to write about it if there were no charges. it was him, it was his address. the public records show it was his address and the idea we shouldn't write about something unless there's a criminal charge, i don't think i've seen him apply that to hillary clinton. [laughter] >> next, sir. we at least moved out of the old white guy zone. no gray hair. [laughter] >> i'm not really that white, but -- >> i said we moved out of it. >> yeah, why do you think the southern rights, politicians not just in democracies, nondemocracies -- >> why is it that all around the
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world we are seeing fundamentalist religious leaders, india, fundamentalist hindu and the of isil, they are not muslims. all around the world we are seeing them. we are seeing them on christians. i think the speed of human knowledge is changing things, people aren't equipped to cope with. i think that people are looking for some, you know, what's coming and they're uncertain and world economics are changing and the arise of the internet which is eliminated enormous numbers of jobs in the world and going to eliminate more jobs by making things for efficient. the old saying, inefficiency creates jobs. [laughter] >> it's leading people to be fearful and the nature of how we do television news. if it bleeds, it bleeds. people think there's a lot more crime out there than there is.
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you know, we have very, very low crime now compared to the 1980's, compared to the 60's, compared to the 20's, oh, yeah, crime on a national level way, way down. your odds of being burglarized 1 and 4 and most done by add -- adventuring teenagers. not done by seriously burglarrers. the rapid pace of change and explosion of television-driven news has really created a lot of fear and anxiety in people. we have schools in saudi arabia running things like hate america. >> "the new york times" had a nice article on it. >> yeah, okay. >> okay, what do you think can be done, if anything, to get trump to release his tax returns that are at issue? [laughter]
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>> what do you think -- >> if you read the book you'll see what's in trump's returns. donald almost certainly committed tax fraud in 1984, his own tax guy disavowed his tax return. donald has participated in a sales tax fraud. there's a lot about -- this is the area that i am best known for taxes, we are never going to see donald trump's tax returns, okay. but what i have said is journalists should start say to go trump, okay, you said you can't release the returns that are under audit, this is nonsense by the way, we will take you at your word. we would like to see your 1978 to 2008 tax returns because you have said the audits are closed on those returns and he should be hounded about that, where are your pre2009 tax returns. and not as was suggested the other day by larry gibbs, form
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1040 plus schedule a which has charitable deductions, his complete rushes. mitt romney wouldn't give us returns because -- how many people raise your hand if you know this, mitt romney was not the manager of capital management, he was the sole owner. one person read my coverage. he was the sole owner and congress has the special rules. if you're the manager you can live tax free. you fold all your partnership profits back in and carried interest they talk about, you pay that in distance future, the government loans you zero interest all the taxes should have paid. that's how people at the top are getting rich. you can pay your taxes, no, some where in the distant years from now, decades from now and it's a zero-interest loan. can you imagine if all the income taxes were held from your check are in investment account
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and now you had to pay it back with no interest. we are never going to see donald's returns. we need to pass a law. i actually wrote a column about how to come clean that if he had the courage to get it would get him elected president. it's called the speech that could elect donald trump president. and then i wrote, congress should pass a law if you appear in a ballot, ten states, running for president, the irs is required to discloses your tax return and the only thing they're going to hold back is your social security number and your home address, if you used home address. tax returns were public in the 20's. you know, you could find out julian, founder of sears, the guy that built it up. we are never going to see returns. but in my book you will read a lot about his tax returns. we have time for about -- six
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minutes left. >> this is a short wasn't. i'm curious to know why you're a registered republican? [laughter] >> they are the party of the big tent. i'm a teddy roosevelt guy, they should welcome me and i had many people saying you're a rhino, you're either the party of the big tent or you're not and where i live in western new york, the primaries are much more interesting. after all ui actually got -- while i didn't get to vote because the polls that day opened after i had to leave town but i was going to vote for a man running for president a few years ago that believes dinosaurs and human beings coexisted and democrats don't give you opportunities like that. [laughter] >> ma'am. >> is someone like you who wrote about trump's tax returns and what could be them back in march, i've disappointed every time i write about these issues that the people that really need
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to learn more and understand them refuse to listen. >> where did you write about it? okay. >> but let me ask the question, the question is i don't want to preach to the choir, the reasonable i took a job as a journalist as 54 year's old, i want to convert those who don't believe in what they should and don't understand. >> what's the question? >> the question is how do we do that? is it writing a book, writing more, is it going out there? >> i'm not in the business of trying to convert people to what i think is the right way to think, okay. in my class, they thought i would teach modern tax policy and since the end of the day no matter how hard i try what i think about policy which teaches nobody anything. i want to give people useful information in the way that they can understand it so they can come to decision. the point that you're raising
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that we have a lot of people in this country and they're not -- >> refuse. >> will not pay attention to facts. there's actually been a lot of psychological research done about it. if you want to read a good quick little good, true enough. when you look tat cover you'll think it's a boy scoit. it's not, but it's true enough to being a boy scott, what the research shows if you tell people something they believe is not true, saddam hussein, you know, a thug had nothing to the with religious zeloth of osama bin laden. of course, saddam hussein had nothing to do with osama bin laden.
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there's lots of research where people double down on what they wished to be true and i think that's a failure of our education system. we have an education system that was designed to prepare for drone jobs, not for critical thinking skills. that's a failing of our education and we need to work at that and make people politically sophisticated and critical thinkers. one of the things that identify been fascinated by is my children grew up with very good schools and they know you don't trust anything on the internet. but i've had students and i've done and lectured at high schools where students say what donald trump said, well, it was on the internet and they assume it's true and i think this is -- this problem is not going to get
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solved in my lifetime and not probably in yours. >> i'm going to go teach. >> please try. hi, there. >> you told us many bad things about donald trump, but are there any positive things about donald trump? >> i can tell you a couple of positive things. he built trump tower which is quite an accomplishment. he successfully shut down numerous law enforcement and journal investigations about himself, that's an accomplishment. it may not -- >> positive accomplishments. that's a very positive. >> no. >> but the fundamental fact is, no, i've tried very hard. when you read the book i think you'll see why. donald is a world-class narcissist, donald is only about donald. you don't gives except either glory donald or be a foil. he just -- he has no empathy for other people and so everything he does is about money. cutting off the health care for
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this child, it's about money. and so, you know, when i was working on the book and was sleeping and writing and sleeping and writing and i called some other people, let's go through things donald has done and nobody could come up with anything. he's not a good negotiator, there are people who teach negotiation that have written about this and the terms of his deals tell you that and, no, i can't point to anything beyond the signature accomplishment of building trump tower. and there he benefited from his father being -- having as his best friend the mayor of new york who issued orders, welfare mr. trump wants he's going to get and bureaucracy turned to his side. donald told people it was a pro bono project and got him to work for free, no, he got $10 million for it.
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so it is literally all a fraud, his life. sorry. if i had one, i would tell you. well, listen thank you all very much. [applause] >> if you have books, i will be glad to sign them. hi, there. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> yeah. i know. [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching book tv on c-span2 and we are in the middle of a block of recent author's programs on the presidential candidates. starting now dick morris offers his thoughts on how donald trump can win the election.
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>> good evening, everyone. i would like to just mention two things that i want to tell you before i start. i would like you all to shut your cell phones off if that's okay with you. i don't want to have it ringing in the middle of dick's presentation. i would also like in the q&a line up behind the mic in the center role and when called upon, you can ask your question, okay? thank you. just questions, yes. for over 20 years dick morris served as the clinton's personal and political adviser and trust ed confidentant, he knows strength and weaknesses and their darkest s